The toxic rhetoric on Twitter led by Elon Musk is questionable

The toxic rhetoric on Twitter led by Elon Musk is questionable
The toxic rhetoric on Twitter led by Elon Musk is questionable

The toxic rhetoric on Twitter led by Elon Musk is questionable

Rhetoric on Twitter has never been civilized, and the loudest voices often outweigh those seeking objectivity and accuracy. It’s gotten a lot easier to tweet about a perceived enemy than it is to find common ground, whether it’s about kids or baseball or anything else.

With the chaos surrounding the Twitter platform since it was acquired by young billionaire Elon Musk, it’s become clear that this isn’t about to change anytime soon. In fact, it’s likely to get worse before it gets better, if at all.

Musk and his team of loyalists arrived on Twitter more than a week ago, and they’re poised to tear down the Blue Bird’s Nest and rebuild it on his terms and at breakneck speed. He quickly dismissed top executives and the board, installed himself (for the time being) as the sole director of the company, and declared himself “chief tweeter”. On Friday, he began mass layoffs at the San Francisco-based company, firing half the workforce via email and returning the company to a headcount not seen since 2014.

And after pitching the idea of ​​charging users $20 a month for the “blue tick” and some extra features, he seemed quick to slash the amount during a Twitter exchange with author Stephen King, who wrote: “If that’s true, I’m leaving.” Just like Enron did.

“We’ve got to pay the bills somehow, and Twitter can’t be totally dependent on advertisers,” the billionaire said, asking, “How about $8?” And the company canceled a $7.99 per subscription service month that allows anyone on the platform to pay a blue tick fee alongside some special offers, “just like celebrities, businesses and politicians who are already being followed by thousands”. Features – not yet available – like distinguishing their tweets from those received by accounts without the blue tick. It is not clear when the fee verification flag will be available. The tag will replace what was seen as a security feature to combat fake accounts.

loosen restrictions

The new CEO has repeatedly taken issue with right-wing figures calling for the easing of restrictions on hate and disinformation, received congratulations from former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Musk tweeted, commenting on a “baseless conspiracy” regarding the House Speaker’s husband, Nancy Pelosi, who was attacked at his home to remove what was later written.

Meanwhile, more than 30 organizations have written an open letter to the 20 largest advertisers on Twitter, urging them to pledge to stop advertising on the platform if Twitter, under Musk’s oversight, undermines the platform’s “brand integrity” and moderation removed from content.

“Not only are extremists celebrating Musk’s takeover of Twitter, they see it as a new opportunity to circulate even worse, harassing and racist rhetoric and imagery,” the letter said. “This includes clear threats of violence against people who disagree with them,” she added.

One of Musk’s first moves was to fire the woman in charge of trust and security on the platform, Vijaya Ghadi, but he retained the platform’s head of security and integrity, Yoel Roth, and took steps to reassure users and advertisers that the site would not transition to a “everybody does what they want” site, which he fears.

On Friday, the billionaire wrote: “Twitter’s strong commitment to content moderation hasn’t changed at all. Indeed, at times this week we have seen a dip in hateful rhetoric, contrary to what we may be reading in the press.

However, a growing number of advertisers are pausing spending on Twitter while they reassess how Musk’s changes could lead to an increase in objectionable material on the platform.

Musk also met with some civil rights activists “about how Twitter can continue to fight hate and harassment and enforce integrity policies,” according to a tweet he sent earlier this month. The billionaire said he will not make any major decisions about content or restore suspended accounts – like that of former President Donald Trump – before establishing a “content moderation board” with differing viewpoints. He later added that the council would “comprise the civil rights community and groups confronted with hate-fueled violence”.

The freedom of expression

However, experts noted that Twitter already has a Trust and Safety Advisory Board that deals with moderation issues. “I really can’t imagine how different it would be,” said Danielle Citron, a University of Virginia law professor and council member who has worked with Twitter since Twitter’s inception in 2009 to combat online harms like threats and stalking, according to Expression “.

Some chaos is expected post-acquisition, including layoffs or layoffs, but Musk’s opaque plans for the platform — particularly policies on content moderation, misinformation, and hate speech — warn of where one of the world’s most popular information systems is headed. All that seems certain is that Twitter will go where Musk wants it, at least for now.

For his part, Eddie Perez, a former team leader at the Civil Integrity Platform who left the company before Musk took office, said, “I hope you gain responsibility and maturity,” adding, “You’re the owner of Twitter now, and that gives.” it’s a new level of responsibility.”

Musk’s opaque plans for the platform — particularly his policies on content moderation, misinformation and hate speech — warn of the development of one of the world’s most notorious information systems.

Some chaos is expected after the takeover of the company, including layoffs or layoffs.

The new CEO has repeatedly taken issue with right-wing figures calling for restrictions on hate and disinformation to be eased.

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